Few days ago, I had to go somewhere in the cold morning and in the midst of this fuel scarcity. After a minute treck to a taxi junction, I saw this taxi coming and the look on the outside ruled out all suspicion that I could have had (since most times the look of the taxi often determine the condition of the travel😁). But for this particular taxi, I had no idea how horrible the travel experience was going to be and that day, I learnt never to judge a book by it’s cover.
I waved at this taxi and of course he stopped. I felt so lucky and relieved that I didn’t wait too long at the junction 😟.
I took the back seat for the sake of convenience and I was the third person at the back, plus two other ladies.
I looked at this young man driving the taxi and it was obvious that harmattan is still very much present. Within seconds, a thought crossed my mind “Did this man forget to bath or forget to use lotion?🤓” My question received no answer because only the man knew and I couldn’t ask him🤗. What is even my concern? Just take me to where I am going…
Then the journey began…
Just as the man accelerated, I noticed the taxi was swirling 🙄. Definitely there must be a problem with the tube or the wheel I thought, then I asked “Kilode ti owo motor yin fi? (why is the car swirling?😕”) but the man responded “No it’s Not” (you know that voice that you will not like to challenge further🤗 but I did asked further).
Then I responded what?😎 It’s obvious and no driver can be unaware of this kind of imbalance, then he looked at me and smiled😆. I wasn’t sure what message he was trying to pass with the smile, either that I got him or that you don’t know anything more is on the way.
I thought the ladies beside me were going to caution him but I think they didn’t know what it means for a car on motion to swirl in such manner😎, ladies, they can be insouciant somtimes.
I kept mute after making my point since I had no supporter while I prayerfully journeyed in the taxi. Later, two other men joined the taxi. Then shortly after, I began to perceive fumes (Note! Not perfume) but this time, I wasn’t the only one. Everybody in the taxi was aware of this new development. Withing a minute the whole taxi was covered with Carbon fumes. It was a serious matter.
Then the ladies asked “what is this all about? One of them even asked me, hope it’s not like the car was going to explode but I answered No it’s Not, because it was fume from the exhaust (probably my answer wasn’t accurate enough but atleast I had an answer🤣)! Then when it continued, and breathing was uneasy the ladies began to shout “Please stop here we ain’t going any further!” At that point, I was confused either to join the campaign or endure the fumes 🤔.
This man didn’t even answer. He was like “Ko siyonu (There is no cause for alarm) ” That was his response.
I was angry at a point that why will this man be so rigid? Ofcourse, he ignored the plights of these ladies. I almost challenged him 😣 but I held my peace. After a short while, the fumes will be blown by air only to return with full force. This persisted all through the journey. Funny enough the two men sitting at the front were so unperturbed. Probably these ones have smoke resistant noses I thought.
Not long, the two men sitting at the front dropped from the taxi and one of them said “haa e sha fin yon mon inu motor yin ni (Haa you indeed smoked us inside ur taxi) then I smiled and said silently, Oh! I thought your noses were spoke resistant 😁.
Then after a while, one of the two ladies who insisted she was going to drop halfway finally arrived at her destination. Remaining myself and the other lady.
Just like a minute to the final bus stop this man opened up and the few statements he said had stayed with me since then.😑😑😑
He said (though in Yoruba) “The reason why d car is shaking was as a result of a metal that broke behind it (I responded in hushed tone “that must be a very important metal”) and I have not gotten welders to fix it and the fume is because of the engine, infact, I just bought the car and I just finished the payment (😎 you just bought what?). He continued, “I can’t just pack it at home else I’ll never get money to fix it, I have my family to feed too, so this is how I am going to be using it so I can make enough to fix it, afterall, IT’S BETTER THAN ME BEING A THIEF”.
While he talked, I listened with rapt attention, and like a remote controlled robot I found myself responding “hmm” to every statement he made. I couldn’t but sympathize with him.
So this is the extent people go to survive, I thought. How on earth could someone just bought this kind of a car? I guess I asked so many questions that received no answer that day.
After I dropped from his taxi, I revolved around words he uttered and I was so glad I endured the condition with him.
I was glad I didn’t get angry at him. I learnt a lesson from then,
“Never get angry until you hear people out. Everyone has atleast a reason for their action(s) .”
I thought of how horrible I would have felt getting angry at such a man.
I was glad I heard his story.
I was glad I entered his horrible Taxi.
I was glad I met a strong man with a resilient determination to succeed.
I was glad I met a man that will rather endure hardship than venture into doing evil and of course, I was glad I didn’t regret entering his taxi. I concluded,
THIS MAN DESERVES GOLD
If I had an award, I would have given you that day but since I couldn’t afford one at that time, here is my shout-out to you,
“DON’T GIVE UP THE FIGHT, THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!”
©Samuel Oladipo 030218
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